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Gelato! Gelato!
Italian Ice Cream, Sorbetti, and Granite
by Pamela Sheldon Johns
Ten Speed Press,
May 2000
Hardcover - 112 pages

NPR lists GELATO! in the 2008 best cookbook short list

Eating gelato, like drinking espresso, is a favorite Italian pastime. It is an opportunity to linger for conversation and people-watching, and a way to cool down from summer's unrelenting heat. Gelato, sorbetto, and granita flavors run the gamut from seasonal fresh fruits to popular essences including coffee and chocolate or liqueurs such as vin santo, Marsala, limoncello, or even grappa. Each bite packs a wallop of sensory stimulation, a celebration of the primary ingredient undisguised by additives or cloying, heavy ingredients that mask the original flavor. Though low in fat, often with no more than 6 to 7 percent butterfat, gelato has much more flavor than American ice cream. This is because fat tends to coat the mouth, blocking the experience of the fresh and natural flavor. In addition, the best gelaterie use full-flavored seasonal products, maximizing the essence of the main ingredient. Another reason for the intense flavors is that gelato is kept at a higher freezing temperature. The consistency is dense and velvety, with less air beaten into it. The softer texture glides through the mouth, making contact with more taste buds, and because it is not so cold, the taste buds do not become numb with freezing, but are open to accept more flavor.

Making gelato at home is a snap. Recipes include: Caffe Latte Gelato, Florentine Rice Gelato, Zabaglione Gelato with Figs, Cactus Pear Sorbet, Pear-Grappa Sorbet, Almond Milk Granita, and Caramel Semifreddo

Coffee Granita FROM THE BOOK
Coffee Granita

A Sicilian classic, coffee granita is wonderful served in a fresh brioche for breakfast on a hot day.


  • 4 cups hot freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
In a medium bowl, combine the espresso and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool. Pour into a 9-inch round or square baking dish. Freeze until the mixture becomes slushy around edges, about 30 minutes. Stir to break up the ice crystals. Continue freezing, stirring the mixture every 20 minutes, until it is slushy, about 1 hour.

Makes 1 quart; serves 4


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